Garments: Bans on Swimsuits, New Designers, and Aaliyah...All In One Week

The Image That’s Been Popping Up Everywhere: Last week, plenty of eyebrows were raised when a woman was ordered to remove part of her swimsuit by French authorities due to a ban on the burkini. What is the burkini? This swimsuit was designed for woman who want full, full coverage, through a full length swimsuit that covers the head, body, and arms of the person wearing it. The image of the French police demanding the woman, who is simply enjoying a day at the beach like many of us tend to do enjoy doing so during the warm summer days, is so thought-provoking that we can’t help but question it!

 The mayor of Cannes justifies his ban on the grounds that the burkini is a “symbol of Islamic extremism” that is “not respectful of good morals and secularism.” But we can’t help but question that statement, because if a full length suit that covers everything but the hands doesn’t show good morals, than scuba divers everywhere should also be worried, shouldn’t they? If clothing associated with a particular religion is not secular enough, than it is definitely the equivalent to say that the religious habits of Catholic nuns should also be banned.

Take a look at the image below yourself, and question how and why someone shouldn’t be allowed to follow their own personal freedom of expression.

Emirati Designer Making Her Own Mark in Fashion: Emirati designer Latifa Al Gurg’s upcoming autumn/winter collection for her label Twisted Roots is an ode to a major fashion part of the world, London. The designer’s palette is made up of lead-grey, mink and basalt, while the silhouettes of the modest-wear range are reminiscent of the London city’s breathtaking skyline.

"The lines were inspired by the architecture of the city and, of course, the weather was an influence – plenty of fogginess," says Dubai-based Al Gurg, who started designing in 2012 and officially launched her label about 18 months ago. "London is one of the world’s most important fashion capitals and I’d love to be present there one day."

Al Gurg’s ambitions might soon be realised – she is one of eight regional students being mentored in Sharjah and the United Kingdom by the London College of Fashion , as part of an initiative called The Azyame Fashion Entrepreneurs Programme.

"It’s a package of dedicated support designed with the joint aim of bringing out the best in the country’s talented designers and launching a number of exceptional fashion labels from the Emirates," says Ameera bin Karam, deputy chairwoman of Nama, and chairwoman of Sharjah Business Women Council. "We are delighted that the first recipients of the programme will soon be embarking on their exciting new venture."

Keep an eye out for Latifa Al Gurg’s designs not only being seen more and more, but details behind her powerful designs being the inspiration for other designers as well.

Aaliyah’s Influence on Fashion: R&B has provided the world with plenty of style icons, but few have had the impact of on the most legendary artists, Aaliyah. Her life was tragically cut short 15 years ago today, but her image, remains as powerful as ever—particularly within the fashion industry. For those who grew up listening to her music, Aaliyah remains one of the most memorable, iconic performers—and trendsetters—especially before social media became as big as it is today.

Hoodies, bucket hats, Timberland-like boots, and logo-covered Windbreakers now appear on the most exclusive, high end runways in top cities like Paris, New York, and Milan, but when Aaliyah arrived on the scene, her attire was trailblazing. Her baggy jeans worn with underwear showing, overalls with bra tops, and oversize leather jackets were cool, but they were also the kind of tomboyish trends that seemed taken from an older brother, rather than cultivated by a stylist.

Next time you stop to see some of the most edgiest designs, whether it’s on a runway or simple street fashion, stop and question just where it came from, or who inspired it.

Sejal Katyalburkini, aaliyah, al gurg